Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Today is Saturday, May whatever. This morning I woke up and FINALLY gave myself permission to be sick. After uttering those words to my bedside lamp, the already straining cork that had been clinging on for dear life where head meets nose the past 4 days, holding back the gush of mucus (gross), finally popped.
I am sick.
Which, in all honesty, just being sick actually feels better than my mind knowing that my body is sick but demanding, “Man up, soldier! YOU ARE NOT SICK.” Yesterday was a big day, when Holly, my editor, flew all the way down from Vermont (brrr) to Florida (aaaahhh) and spent the day with me in the kitchen. It just would have sucked to be snottin’ and sneezing all over the food. It was an absolute must that I was healthy – er- at least functioning fairly well for that day.
Our plan was to spend the day cooking, testing/writing recipes, photographing, eating and editing. Ok, really, my agenda was to distract her as much as possible in the kitchen, get her drunk so that we could forget about editing. Cuz me no likey editing. You could threaten to take a hammer to my cherished kiwi Le Creuset baby dutch oven and I still would choose THAT over picking apart words and trying to come up with a suitable phrases to replace my babbling, wandering musings and cussing. <– that sentence was a run-on and probably didn’t make much sense.
But, I’m totally stoned on Nyquil right now. So back the hell off.
I wanted to show Holly what a “day in the life of a deranged, disorganized food blogger, cookbook-author wannabe” would be like. And boy, did I work her ass off. We created 4 new recipes, photographed them for the book and fed the dinner party for that evening. I had scribbled down recipes for 4 dishes that I had created in my SICK BUT NOT SICK head and when she arrived, I thrusted my notes to Holly and said, “here are my recipe notes!”
They really shouldn’t be classified as “recipes,” because they looked like this:
hoisin, honey, ginger but maybe garlic or maybe just omit both, how about orange marmalade? could use palm sugar too, 5sp, S+P, ribs, slow+low and glaze.
Holly looked at me with the “this is a recipe? are you fucking serious, lady?” look and then muffled into her sleeve, “bluejay calling mother hen…red alert..I REPEAT…red alert…operation steamykitchen is a no go….requesting permission to abort mission.”
But it worked out well – I would add this ingredient, add that ingredient, taste, adjust and Holly would be right there next to me documenting my every glug, pinch, pour and stir on a piece of paper. She wrote legibly, weighed ingredients and even timed my cooking! I think I am in love and need to just stuff her in my pantry and keep her here in my kitchen until this cookbook is done.
The most time consuming part was photographing. It took about an hour for each shot – partly because I still fumble with my camera settings. Ok, I admit I just use 1 setting and turn the wheely dialy thing a little to the left or a little to the right until I get what I want. BUT – I hope you’ll be proud of me – I graduated from the “P” setting on my Canon Rebel XT and am now on the “Av” setting, because 2 weeks ago when I went to my local camera shop, this nice camera salesman told me I should be using “Av” as it’s what professionals use. So I switched to “Av” but I still don’t know why or what the hell it stands for. All I know is that AUTO is for noobs. “P” is for semi-noobs. And “Av” is a setting that if I wave my camera in front of a real photographer pro, he’ll be like, “OMG. she’s so hot, I want to dry hump her Rebel XT” Plus, if I was still using “AUTO” or “P” then I would be a total dork for writing “Food Photographer” on my new business cards.
Yeah. I’m sooooo “Av.”
Oh and the “M” setting???? “M” is PURE EVIL. If you ever think it’s funny to play a joke on me and switch my camera to “M”, I will KICK YOUR ASK.
Here’s one of the dishes that was translated from:
herb, fish, no fish sauce, wrap in wrapper for diff tex? crispy! deep or pan? salmon or white? mince. need filler like potato, egg to bind, pretty to tie with chive.
Which translates to this:
Pretty nice, eh? Actually, if I think about it, the transformation is kinda like me when I first wake up in the morning before any coffee…incomplete thoughts, totally nonsensical and um…not pleasant to look at. Then I have coffee, shower, slather on concealer, pluck brows and get dressed and cha-ching! A nice, pretty package emerges.
Alright, now back to the original reason why I am posting – to give you this insanely kick-ass recipe for Ginger, Soy and Whiskey Grilled Chicken that I tweaked from this dude, who I think has the same warped sense of humor that I have.This was a dish I cooked last weekend and was declared a family fav.
Props to J-Vo for the original inspiration and recipe. [Me love you long time, J-Vo!!!!]
chkn, mar in gr ginger, soy, glug whiskey or bourbon? garlic, sugar. grill
serves 4-6 as part of multicourse meal
3-lb whole chicken, carved (or if you prefer, your choice of already cut-up chicken parts)
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbl soy sauce
3 tbl brown sugar
1/2 lime, juiced (or 1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar)
1 ounce whiskey/bourbon/scotch
freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a zip-lock freezer back. Squeeze all the air out of bag and let the chicken marinate, preferably overnight, but even 1 hour is fine. If marinating overnight, 15 min prior to grilling, drain the marinade into a small pot and reserve. Let chicken sit on the counter so that it can come to room temperature. Boil the reserved marinade and keep at a steady simmer for 5 minutes to cook and thicken.
Heat BBQ grill on high. Grill chicken skin side down for 3 minutes until skin is nice and golden brown. Flip chicken, reduce heat to medium, brush with cooked marinade and close cover. Cook for another 5-7 minutes, until cooked through.